The Gatorade Team of the Week for the eighth week of Canadian Premier League action in 2023, brought to you by Kristian Jack and OneSoccer’s Oliver Platt.
Sean Melvin (Atlético Ottawa)
Melvin was brilliant against Halifax on Saturday night, making four saves, including a stunning reflex stop on Andre Rampersad that preserved just the second clean sheet of the season for Ottawa. He was also quick off his line and commanding in his box when he needed to be.
Andy Baquero (Valour)
Baquero provided constant energy down the right flank throughout Sunday’s match for Valour, with four shot attempts, two chances created on 112 touches and 74 attempted passes. He also made four interceptions and won possession eight times during an action-packed performance.
Diego Espejo (Atlético Ottawa)
Espejo was in the centre of a back three for Ottawa on Saturday and was essential to how his side built out of the back, making a team-leading 95 touches and 78 passes. He was also brilliant at the back as Atleti earned their first home clean sheet of the season, making nine clearances, and winning all four of his aerial duels.
Brem Soumaoro (York United)
Soumaoro stunned the crowd at Tim Hortons Field with one of the better goals the stadium has ever seen to hand York a massive 2-1 road victory over Forge on Wednesday. Playing as a midfielder, he has been incredibly all-action, winning a stunning 13 duels against Valour over the weekend and making nine tackles.
Every angle of THAT goal from @yorkutdfc's Brem Soumaoro 🎥
The U-21 Canadian Player of the Year award might well be heading to Winnipeg for the second straight year after yet another outstanding performance from Matteo de Brienne. The 21-year-old fullback scored a brilliant equalizer against York over the weekend to cap off an excellent performance that also saw him win possession nine times, create two chances and play nine crosses.
Toussaint has often been the overlooked member of a brilliant Pacific midfield, but his consistent performances have been key to the club’s success so far this season. On Friday night, Toussaint had an assist, won 10 of his 17 duels, three tackles and possession 10 times during a dominant performance as Pacific’s midfield destroyer.
Ollie Bassett (Atlético Ottawa)
Bassett willed Ottawa to victory on Saturday with another exceptional performance. He scored the opening goal — his fourth of the campaign, tied for the league lead — on four shot attempts, with three chances created during a 2-0 victory for Atleti.
Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)
Forge can never be counted out in any match, and a big part of that is the leadership by example of captain Bekker. He set up the club’s 94th-minute equalizer, took four shots, and created four chances on 22 passes in the final third.
Adonijah Reid (Pacific FC)
Reid is developing into one of the most reliable chance creators in the Canadian Premier League, and a key part of Pacific FC’s attack. Against Vancouver FC, he had two assists, two shot attempts, and completed all three of his dribbles.
Ayman Sellouf (Pacific FC)
After entering the match in the 59th minute, Sellouf made an instant impact, scoring in the 66th minute. He then set up Easton Ongaro in the 68th minute, won a penalty that Manny Aparicio converted in the 80th minute, and was key to the buildup of Kekuta Manneh’s 90 + 1 goal. That is quite the supersub performance.
T.J. Tahid (Vancouver FC)
The youngest signing in CPL history became the league’s youngest goalscorer over the weekend and is now the youngest ever inclusion in the Gatorade Team of the Week. Having just turned 16 in late April, Tahid is a player who has consistently shown compete and ability beyond his years, also contesting nine duels during the match.